Sunday, March 26, 2006


There I was pre-Paris, concocting a lovely post involving the distinction between how I walk in London; I plod, I trudge, I march at quite a pace, sidestepping dawdlers. And how I walk in Paris; I meander, I stroll, I amble. I was all set to tell you the word 'flaneur' is one of my favourites and how it sums up perfectly my experience of being in Paris.

It was all coming together nicely. Unfortunately I hadn't anticipated 'THE RAIN'.

It's not so easy to stroll in the kind of torrential downpour that an umbrella provides little or no protection against. The kind that makes you want to stay in bed or drink copious amounts of alcohol, preferably at the same time. I have never seen it rain like that in Paris and God knows how many times I've been there. When the rain continues solidly for 3 days the only thing to do is sprint bedraggled, to yet another cafe, which you will begin to refer to as 'smoke filled hell holes' (thank you Geoff Dyer). Shopping - the obvious indoor activity is out, due to the necessity of walking from shop to shop. Department stores are out due to my hatred of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, and roadblocks around Le Bon Marche because of the demonstrations. Museums, galleries and other tourist spots are out because all the damp kagoule clad tourists are there.

In case I haven't already made this clear - I love Paris. On a sunny day I can think of nowhere else in the world I'd rather be. The dry parts of my trip were wonderful, and I'll mention those when I've finished moaning about the weather. I will regale you with tales of my speedy tour of Paris with friend, the Marc Jacobs store, the snooty anorexic French women in the Vanessa Bruno store who stared at my flabby knees when I tried on a skirt and how the gorgeous, sexy, super hot waiter at Le Verre Luisant made me go all doolally.

I am British, I know shitty weather. I spend summers looking at the grey skies waiting for the one nice day when we will all complain that it's too hot. The funny thing is, for all my moping in cafes surrounded by furiously chain smoking Serge Gainsbourg wannabes, when I got back today I kind of felt nostalgic for Paris already.

When I went to pay for my petrol I very nearly looked the attendant directly in the eye and said 'Bonjour!' cheerily. But then quickly recovering myself I engaged with him in the English manner, by keeping my eyes averted and saying nothing.

Guess what, it's raining here too, but this is no surprise. I'm so happy to see my little Loly who greeted me with her 'I really missed you' miaow which sounds uncannily like 'Maaammmaaa!' She slept on my pillow while I was gone and she has been following me around all day, nuzzling my legs and generally being cute so that I will never ever leave her again.


Bombay Beauty said...

Just got into London today, and can confirm the British mastery of really grey weather. You folks take it to a masterful level. Greyness is typically – elsewhere – associated with transitions - from dark to light, even between good and evil, right and wrong. Here it seems to be a state of being.

Had some London weather in NY the other day. A bit like this, but grey in NY is indeed an in-between state, between rain and more frequent sun. I was in LA a few days before that. Everyone was making much ado about a 12 degree (C) day with brilliant sun. They really rub it in when they know you are a visitor.

By the way, this means that Lola’s mistress might expect a call from bb at some point soon.

Cheers (some comments on why the British like this expression next time),


Anonymous said...

oh oh oh-- am a fellow 'besotted with Paris' person--- love it in any weather--- dream of it most days.

Thanks for sharing your trip!


Lola is Beauty said...

BB you jetsetter do call me we'll go and have tea!

BP (if I may refer to you in initials!) the rain tested even my faithful love of Paris but I'll be back there in the summer so it can make it up to me then!

Anonymous said...

Dear LIB and BB, how I wish I could have a nice cup of tea (or a mojito, even better) with the two of you...
much love
PS the weather here is shitty as well.

Lola is Beauty said...

I would love for us all to have tea at the wolseley or bellini's at harry's bar or gelato at vivoli. you know, wherever we'd happen to be...BB and I will share a scone in your honour!

toddy said...

hey LIB, i just googled palladium sunglasses like kates (saddo that i am) and guess whta Lola is beauty was about five down on the first google
love cosmicopia

toddy said...

the old animal print addict lady is tops

Lola is Beauty said...

how'd that happen? the google thing I mean...